The rain beat against my car window early one Monday morning. The weather appropriately matched my attitude as tears ran down my face. I dreaded getting out of the car to catch a 2 hour commuter bus into the city to work at a job I had grown to hate. A job where I was both overlooked and underappreciated. There was only one thing I could think of doing to fix this situation.
I wanted to quit.
But that just wasn’t an option. I needed the money and I had no other job lined up. Now, please don't get me wrong. I was appreciative to have a job and I realize there are many people who would have loved my job. But the stress of this very demanding job (while facing some health issues) was taking a toll on me that left me wanting to walk away.
I can look back now and see that God used that season to grow my faith. He let me linger in that job for a while to stretch me, to shape my character. It was during that time God taught me 5 important lessons about navigating the difficult season of working at a job I didn't like. So today I want to share those reminders with you.
We will not always be in a job we desire. Maybe you are fresh out of school and are working a job that has nothing to do with the degree you just earned. Maybe you are in a situation where you are working at a job where you are overqualified, overworked, and fed up. Maybe for the most part you love your job but get discouraged by the mundane tasks that take up time from doing the aspects of your job you love most.
Here's the thing: God will still use this season to grow, develop, and prepare you. Any season that humbles us is preparing us for what God has next. The Bible tells us:
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. - James 4:10 NIV
You very well may not be in this job for the rest of your life. Amen to that! But that doesn’t mean it is a complete waste of time. God will use any season, even a job you want to quit, to prepare you for what's next. Don't miss that.
Working a job you don't like can leave you feeling stuck, forgotten by God, and asking yourself questions like:
Why hasn’t God opened another door for me yet?
Why is God not moving?
Why would God leave me here in this job I hate?
But the truth is God has not left you. He's not holding back on you. When you feel God is silent, that's exactly when He's moving! Your situation does not change God. He still loves you and is with you no matter what.
Instead of looking at our situation through a perspective of fear and worry, we need to look at it though faith and hope.
Many people think they work a job to make money and maintain a certain level of comfort. But God is actually doing much more behind the scenes.
The relationships you make, the wisdom you gain, and the situations you learn and are shaped from are all part of a bigger picture God is painting.
A good friend of mine shared with me how surprised she was when her coworker asked her to pray for him. The job you are so anxious to leave may very well be what God will use to build His Kingdom.
The grass always looks greener on the other side, doesn't it? Once I was finally able to leave the job I disliked to stay home with my infant daughter, I was relieved! I was finally away from that job! Then reality hit me. Life is work no matter what job you are working. Some jobs may be easier than others, but they all have their challenges.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking a new job or opportunity will cure everything you dislike about your life. Only Jesus can provide the satisfaction we crave. So before you turn in your two weeks’ notice, be sure it's not because you're looking for something only Christ can offer.
Just the other day a friend said the most encouraging words to me: "It will not be like this forever."
I was expressing frustration about a particular situation and her words were like cold lemonade on a hot summer day. When we are in an uncomfortable situation, like a job we want to quit, many times we go into survival mode. We stop hoping for better and start believing it will be this challenging forever. If you've fallen into this thinking let me tell you just as my friend told me:
It won't be like this forever.
God may very well open a new opportunity for you. He may change your work environment to make your job more satisfying. He may even change your heart in this situation and help you to see it in a new way; a way that grants you peace and not pressure, hope and not hate, satisfaction and not stress.
Either way, I can tell you: nothing stays the same forever. This too shall pass.
Image Credit: ©Thinkstock.com/dolgachov
Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.